FL820 filter cut open May 16 2021

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Apr 29, 2021
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Having read the "horrors of the Motorcraft FL820 oil filter," I decided to cut mine open. Hopefully this experiment adds to the growing evidence that these filters are perfectly fine and of excellent quality and a bargain at $4.

Car: 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, purchased May 2020 for $2600 @ 95000 miles. History in brief. Car has had at least 3 and possibly 5 prior owners, records are unclear. The records I have show oil changes at 19k, 23k, 30k, 41k, 45k, 52k, 83k, & ~95k (done Feb 2020, prior to when I purchased it.
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The 820 filter is dated January 15, 2020. I wrote my name on it to prove it's mine and I just did this today. I removed the filter it in Jan 2021 @ ~98k or 2,600 miles. I suspect that conventional oil was used, considering cost cutting that sellers do when preparing to sell their car. This is supported by how black the oil appears, suggesting conventional. I happen to still have it in my oil change supplies. This is my first cut open so it's a bit clumsy. I used tin snips. I'm surprised at how difficult it actually was, so immediately felt this is a quality part that's not going to just fall apart.

It's clumsy trying to take photos while doing this messy job. I did my best. The filter media is very rigid and uniform, except in one section that has rolled open a bit. I don't see how this would materially negatively impact performance. I looked in each pleat for any evidence of damage or tearing, and found zero. None. Nada. Not a hint of any damaged media. All material is intact. I wrestled one of the metal endcaps off and it required a bit of strength. The rubber/silicone back pressure valve is in perfect condition on both sides. Cleaned up it could pass as new. The 0-ring is similarly perfect. The spring is in perfect condition. I did not see any metal shavings in the filter, but I have not squeezed it dry or opened it more. I may or may not do that. I see no need right now.

I find the build quality for a $4 part, or even a $20 part, to be outstanding. It is held together very well, no leaks, and the internal parts appear to be high quality springsteel, rubber/silicone. The media did it's job well. No tears whatsoever. Whether the one area that opened wide is important is a question to be answered by the legacy of use.

My car has 10 documented or known changes in 15 years or 98k miles. That's an extremely bad OCI history. Yet the car runs and sounds nearly perfect mechanically. I'd guess that the M820 has been used for the bulk of the life. I'm extremely confident in this filter, and have 40 more on hand for my 2 Ford Panthers. Pictures enclosed.

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That’s the reason why I used WIX/NAPA Gold spin on oil filters in my formerly owned Fords. My latest Ford takes a cartridge type filter. I know what I get before it goes on.
 
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Wide and wavy pleats don’t give me confidence. Every picture of a Roki or Denso filter has shown straight and tight pleats. With only 2600 miles on that filter I’m not impressed at all.
 
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It certainly had a lot of potential to tear with those big wide pleats by the seam - just lucky it didn't tear. The ones that have torn (including the Purolators that tear) all have similar pleat spacing. A bit too much pleat bending/flattening and the media can tear at the ends of the pleats. Seen it many times.
 
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It certainly had a lot of potential to tear with those big wide pleats by the seam - just lucky it didn't tear. The ones that have torn (including the Purolators that tear) all have similar pleat spacing. A bit too much pleat bending/flattening and the media can tear at the ends of the pleats. Seen it many times.
And, the fit of the media to the end caps. The lips of the end caps are too short and there is usually a significant gap between the lip of the end cap and the media.
 
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LOL at the kink in the pleat. How did that happen?

Fram orange cans look better.
 

MrLemonade

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Lots of irrelevant metrics. We've gone from "every one of these has a tear, self destruct, and destroy the car" to "it hurts my feelz and I don't like the way it looks."

Good grief. The filtration is fine. The media is fine. The backflow materials, spring, and rubber seals are fine. I truly think this is a hilarious topic and a big non-issue.
 
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Lots of irrelevant metrics. We've gone from "every one of these has a tear, self destruct, and destroy the car" to "it hurts my feelz and I don't like the way it looks."

Good grief. The filtration is fine. The media is fine. The backflow materials, spring, and rubber seals are fine. I truly think this is a hilarious topic and a big non-issue.
You sure are dramatic and like to exaggerate - that's what's actually hilarious, lol. Who here has claimed "every one of these has a tear, self destruct, and destroy the car"?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
345
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Georgialina
Having read the "horrors of the Motorcraft FL820 oil filter," I decided to cut mine open. Hopefully this experiment adds to the growing evidence that these filters are perfectly fine and of excellent quality and a bargain at $4.

Car: 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, purchased May 2020 for $2600 @ 95000 miles. History in brief. Car has had at least 3 and possibly 5 prior owners, records are unclear. The records I have show oil changes at 19k, 23k, 30k, 41k, 45k, 52k, 83k, & ~95k (done Feb 2020, prior to when I purchased it. View attachment 57468

The 820 filter is dated January 15, 2020. I wrote my name on it to prove it's mine and I just did this today. I removed the filter it in Jan 2021 @ ~98k or 2,600 miles. I suspect that conventional oil was used, considering cost cutting that sellers do when preparing to sell their car. This is supported by how black the oil appears, suggesting conventional. I happen to still have it in my oil change supplies. This is my first cut open so it's a bit clumsy. I used tin snips. I'm surprised at how difficult it actually was, so immediately felt this is a quality part that's not going to just fall apart.

It's clumsy trying to take photos while doing this messy job. I did my best. The filter media is very rigid and uniform, except in one section that has rolled open a bit. I don't see how this would materially negatively impact performance. I looked in each pleat for any evidence of damage or tearing, and found zero. None. Nada. Not a hint of any damaged media. All material is intact. I wrestled one of the metal endcaps off and it required a bit of strength. The rubber/silicone back pressure valve is in perfect condition on both sides. Cleaned up it could pass as new. The 0-ring is similarly perfect. The spring is in perfect condition. I did not see any metal shavings in the filter, but I have not squeezed it dry or opened it more. I may or may not do that. I see no need right now.

I find the build quality for a $4 part, or even a $20 part, to be outstanding. It is held together very well, no leaks, and the internal parts appear to be high quality springsteel, rubber/silicone. The media did it's job well. No tears whatsoever. Whether the one area that opened wide is important is a question to be answered by the legacy of use.

My car has 10 documented or known changes in 15 years or 98k miles. That's an extremely bad OCI history. Yet the car runs and sounds nearly perfect mechanically. I'd guess that the M820 has been used for the bulk of the life. I'm extremely confident in this filter, and have 40 more on hand for my 2 Ford Panthers. Pictures enclosed.

View attachment 57459 View attachment 57460 View attachment 57461 View attachment 57462 View attachment 57463 View attachment 57464 View attachment 57465 View attachment 57466 View attachment 57467
That's a good looking Marquis, for it's age low miles, and the price was right too.
 
Last edited:
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If I saw that oil filter after use I wouldn’t buy another one. I have a pretty long list of no buy its from my own inspections and what are shown on here. A lot of brands. While it did function well, it is not good quality control on the pleats. Not sure what Supertech sells in that size, or Ford Racing, but those are ones I would still buy for the most part.
 
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Have to give you credit for cutting this filter open.

It is intact.

Really all this filter needs is 4-7 more pleats of filter media. That would help it a fair amount I think.

Another one of these cut open on here recently looked like it had a bit more filter media than this one. And that filter looked a decent bit better than this one.

The Motorcraft fl 400s, 500s and 910s are great filters.
 

MrLemonade

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Have to give you credit for cutting this filter open.

It is intact.

Really all this filter needs is 4-7 more pleats of filter media. That would help it a fair amount I think.

Another one of these cut open on here recently looked like it had a bit more filter media than this one. And that filter looked a decent bit better than this one.

The Motorcraft fl 400s, 500s and 910s are great filters.

Thanks.

For a car with ZERO service records included, and only those I could re-create from Carfax and visiting the local Ford dealer and getting a print out, I think this car was somewhat neglected. I'm betting this car never had full synthetic oil. And I'm betting probably an average of 2x or more between recommended OCIs. There are other off topic reasons to believe it. But for instance, I have only 1 service record for the first 3 years and 20k miles. One... All 8 known oil changes were at the Ford dealership so I know it got the FL820 filter during. It could have had more changes but I can only find 8, but the ones I could find show huge gaps in service of 10k or even 20k miles...! It does probably have more than that, probably closer to the suggested intervals. But still...

It runs great, and will be babied going forward. But having such poor service history, possibly very long periods between conventional or blend oil changes, the testament to the car quality and the quality of the filter is of high praise. I think the filter media is black because it probably does need a few frequent OCIs and/or a slug remover treatment. Debating the next step now. I have some other items, belts, plugs, etc. to replace.
 
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I think the filter media is black because it probably does need a few frequent OCIs and/or a slug remover treatment. Debating the next step now. I have some other items, belts, plugs, etc. to replace.
The color of the media looks like the engine is pretty clean - zero crud caught in the pleat seams. A filter with 500 miles on it would have the same color media. If the top of the head and valve train looks clean when looking into the oil fill cap with a good flashlight, then it's a clean engine.
 
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Thanks.

For a car with ZERO service records included, and only those I could re-create from Carfax and visiting the local Ford dealer and getting a print out, I think this car was somewhat neglected. I'm betting this car never had full synthetic oil. And I'm betting probably an average of 2x or more between recommended OCIs. There are other off topic reasons to believe it. But for instance, I have only 1 service record for the first 3 years and 20k miles. One... All 8 known oil changes were at the Ford dealership so I know it got the FL820 filter during. It could have had more changes but I can only find 8, but the ones I could find show huge gaps in service of 10k or even 20k miles...! It does probably have more than that, probably closer to the suggested intervals. But still...

It runs great, and will be babied going forward. But having such poor service history, possibly very long periods between conventional or blend oil changes, the testament to the car quality and the quality of the filter is of high praise. I think the filter media is black because it probably does need a few frequent OCIs and/or a slug remover treatment. Debating the next step now. I have some other items, belts, plugs, etc. to replace.


Absolutely.... Change the Belts and plugs. Coolant too. Power steering fluid too.

Check those axles and all suspension related parts.

That car could run a long, long time now that you have it.
 
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The pleats are a little wide, got pushed around quite a bit, but no tears! Nice to see another creampuff MGM "dinosaur" as some people like to call them (not me). Any idea what viscosity the oil was? Thicker conventional oil would push media around more than synthetic.
 

MrLemonade

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I reread the post and the end cap did take some strength to pull off. My bad as they say or is that already out of date.

It's dated Jan 2020. Was installed Feb 2020. Removed by me in Jan 2021. It sat upright draining for many months until I cut it open. Perhaps it dried out? Some time variables there. When I cut it open, several ounces of oil did seep from the container that were still captured in the can.

I didn't examine it carefully, but the end cap felt and appeared like a very hard strong adhesive kept it fastened to the media. I'd best describe it like a hardened peanut brittle, adhesive that kept the end cap on the filter media. Having no experience opening these up, I don't know if this is normal, good or bad. But it was held together extremely well. I didn't bother trying to remove other end, because I had nothing to leverage against it (e.g. I didn't have another end cap to pull against). I'm not a mechanic nor engineer but it appeared very well made to me.

I understand the concern of the 2 widened pleats, but having no evidence this is a material issue it doesn't seem to impact performance therefore doesn't worry me.

I understand how the backflow valve works and apparently this is a good design. Some other brands have a worse design, as I understand it.
 
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